Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kevin Bacons Death Wish!!

Heres a total suprise of a film..Death Sentence staring Kevin Bacon and directed by James Wan. Wan is of course known for starting the awful Saw series. I think he only directed the first one!? Dont know; dont care. This is were its at! Death Sentence is loosly based on the novels Death Wish and its sequel Death Sentence. Ive never read them or have i even watched the Bronson film. Shame on me; i know. I want to see Death Wish, I just havn't done it yet.
The plot is typical, man seeks revenge on the street gang who murdered his son with vigilante justice. Bacon brings alot of emotion to the role. And when its time for him to be a bad ass, watch out. He seriously fucks up alot of people. John Goodman has a small role as a sleazy father of the leader of the gang. And Kelly Preston plays Bacons wife. All involved are good. Except the chick who plays the cop. I found her character to be the weak spot in this film. And truthfuly she was just plain annoying.

There is an incredible amount of graphic violence here. Throat slashings, lots of shotgun blasts blowing holes and severing limbs, fingers being shot off and bludgeonings with bats. Wan never shys away from the violence, he just doesnt linger upon it. Everything is seen in all its graphic glory.

The film isnt with out its faults thats for sure. Like i said the cop is annoying and there are time of just plain cheeseness. But its faults i can over look. Iam a total sucker for this crap. Death Sentence is a fun sleazy vigilante revenge thriller. Its fast paced and never boring. Wan brings style to the film. There is a great three minute tracking shot that takes place in a parking garage as the camera zooms through the levels. Wan is a young guy but he shows alot of promise with this film.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Michael Mann's Manhunter

Manhunter is the first film based on Thomas Harris's novel Manhunter. It was readapted years later as Red Dragon with Ed Norton and Ralph Fiennes. But Manhunter is a much better film than Red Dreagon. Now i really like Red Dragon but Manhunter has Michael Mann behind the camera. Its got style, an awsome Tangerine Dream-esque music and some descent Rock music tracks. Manns nack for incorporating songs into his films really pays off in Manhunter. The end climax blares a very long version of Iron Butterfly's In A Gadda Da Vidda as Will Graham invades the Tiith Fairys secluded house.
Released in 1986 to generaly postive reviews, Manhunter was a huge flop and has since become a cult classic. It is the first film to featur Dr. Hannibal Lecter, or in the film 'Lecktor.' Played by Brian Cox, his take on Lecter is equally on par with Hopkins performance of the cannibal killer. Playing intelligent psycho sicko all at once.
William Petersen of CSI fame plays FBI profiler Bill Graham, the man responsible for capturing Lecktor and almost losing his life in the process. For this he has retired from the agency until his former boss calls him up and asks him to help capture a serial killer who murders whole families known as the Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy is played by the imposing Tom Noonan. Noonans was also the main villian in Robocop 2, The Frankenstein Monster in The Monster Squad and numerous T.V. shows including C.S.I. with costar William Peterson. Noonans performance is chilling. He becomes the role and is a towering presence when on screen. He is a much better Frances Dolarhyde than Fiennes in Red Dragon, although Fiennes definatly brings it to his performance too. But Noonan has the outcast looks and mannerisms that make him a much more believable serial killer. Noonan is brilliant in his role and is seriously one of the major elements in this film that makes it such a cult gem.William Petersen for that matter is great as the FBI agent who has the ability to get inside 'minds' of the people he's profiling. From what ive heard and read Petersen found his role to be totaly exhausting and needed to change his look by shaving his beard and dying his hair once filming wrapped to distance himself for sanities sake. This is a must see film for Mann fans or Lecter fans for that matter.